Pump to Plug

Charging Ahead: Woods Bagot imagines an electric mobility future

West Coast Design LEader Matt Ducharme Presents at Pump to Plug

Woods Bagot was thrilled to participate in Pump to Plug, a symposium designed to solicit and analyze creative responses to the challenges and opportunities posed –– in urban, architectural and environmental terms –– by the transition from fossil fueled cars to electric vehicles. Christopher Hawthorne, Chief Design Officer for the City of Los Angeles, in collaboration with the 3rd LA public-affairs series at USC’s Academy in the Public Square and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator organized the event.

Gas stations and automobiles hold a particular place in the West’s cultural imagination. They were a technology and infrastructure that once spoke to freedom of movement and invoked an excitement around future potential and a change to our daily lives. However, the impact on our urban fabric and natural environment has been dramatic, unexpected and has not lived up to our original dream.

Woods Bagot’s “Re-Charge LA” proposal uses an electric mobility hypothesis as an opportunity to reinvigorate and re-energize the future of our infrastructure and create high-quality and evolving community-oriented places. To look again to the potential for inspiration and create a cultural currency better suited for the sustainable future of Los Angeles. 

  1. How can these charging stations be representative of their local communities? 
  2. How do we promote the incredible forms of expression and cultural identity through 
    a new type of automobile? 
  3. How do we create an adaptable and imbedded infrastructure that has different 
    lives throughout the day and over time? 

The first study was for the design of electric charging stations, with a focus on their urbanism and potential landscape and community-serving elements. 

The second was for planning how the city should approach the future of gas station sites, with a focus on remediation, environmental justice, and potential conversion to housing.